Back in 1983-1986, I was the very proud and sometimes cocky owner of a mint
condition 1977 Type LT Camaro. I bought the car when I was 16 and it was
already 6 yrs old, but it only had 21,000 miles on it and was still in
showroom/factory condition. (The story behind the car was the original
owner bought it as a wedding present for his wife. They both had cars
issued to them by the company they worked for, so the LT was basically a
Sunday driver. When I bought it, it still had the original tires, was up on
jacks (proper way to store over long period) and the back seat and jack were
still wrapped in factory plastic! ) Anyway, being a 16 yr old gearhead at
the time, I immediately with the help of some friends, pulled the factory
305 engine out and had it hot rodded to the max. When it was put back in
the car, it sported duel 750cfm Holley 4 bbl double pumpers on a Edelbrock
low rise tunnelram intake topped with a huge chrome flap filter, a serious
cam and crank and internals, oversized pistons and the whole 9 yards along
with a chrome dress up kit and braided wire & hose covers. While the motor
was out, the hood was cut and scooped to recieve the carb set up, the
firewall and inner fender wells were sandblasted and covered with mirror
finish aluminum diamond plating and I had the front suspension parts
powdercoated in black. I changed the tires from the factory tires to
Goodyear Eagles on the front and a set of Cooper 15 X 10s on the back all on
a set of matching Centerline rims. I also had the exaust reworked to a duel
with aftermarket converters and Hollywood Deeptone mufflers. The
suspensionon the back was tightened and I had a set of custom made traction
bars installed and a set of air shocks put on to lift the rear up. The
tranny was reworked to a street racer type and the rear end was a Dana 12
bolt posi. Bodywise, except for the hood and a set of smoked headlight
covers the only other thing I did was have the word "Eliminator" air brushed
on the door rocker panels by a friend who knew how to work an airbrush. Oh,
and I also had the car color sanded and a new clear coat reapplied because
of some faded spots in the original paint. Inside, I installed a Pioneer
sound system with a 600W amp and I replaced the handle on the floor shifter
with a Hurst aftermarket model. All in all, I spent $4000 to buy the car
and over the course of the next year, thanks to my part time job and a small
inheritance my grandfather left me, I did close to $5000 worth of work to
the car (most was the engine and transmission work).
Sadly, on Feb. 6, 1986, I was involved in a near head on collision that
almost ended my life. The car was totalled. The asshole who hit me was DWI
and driving on a suspended license and with stolen plates. The car he was
in was a huge older Olds Delta 88 and it mad short work of my LT. As I
said, it was totalled, but somehow, the engine survived and when I bought
the car back from the insurance agency for $100 as scrap, I immediately
disassembled the engine and packed each and every part in grease and wrapped
them in shop towels. The block was also coated in grease, the cylinders
packed with shop rags covered in grease, and I then had it wrapped in a few
layers of shrink wrap. I built a crate for the motor, and it has been in
that crate all wrapped and greased since September, 1986. I always vowed to
myself, someday I would transplant it into another '77.
That someday never came. I met my wife, we got married, had kids and so on.
Recently, I was given the opportunity to buy another 1977 Type LT. The
price was right, $500. This one has a small 6 in it with over 200,000 miles
onit, but the body is perfect. No dents, no rust.
The old motor is still sitting in my parent's basement in the crate. I
called them and asked my brother (I have since moved to another state) if
one day he could open the crate and let me know how things look. He said
they look ok. I am going to go home to pick the motor up and bring it here
to rebuild it and install in the new LT.
Now, I have been told by a few people who seem to know a little about
engines that I should just forget about that motor because it has been
sitting for almost 20 years. Even though I properly packed and crated it it
is bound to be no good. When I had the motor built, it was dynoed and was
putting out 697hp. I want to use it.
Does anyone know if I am wasting my time with this motor? What can be wrong
with it except for seals and bearings which I planned on replacing anyway?
I have heard that the motor could have developed "weak spots" from sitting
there, especially in the cylinder walls, and that the crank and cam may have
developed an arc. Like I said, Each part has been individually coated in
grease, wrapped in a rag, then sealed in shrink wrap. I even went as far as
to disassemble the heads and pack em the same way along with all the
brackets bolts, nuts and such.
I am open to advise, opinions or whatever. I haven't really worked on a
car since the original LT, and I am a bit rusty on things. So any help will
be appriciated. I am going to post some pics of the Eliminator before and
after the wreck along with the engine packed and sealed and reassembled and
installed as soon as I get a chance and get the motor picked up.